Just in time for E3 and that impending back-to-school rush, Lenovo has announced four new gaming laptops.
There's the $929.99, 15-inch Legion Y530 available in June, and the $959.99 Y7000 available in August. There's also the 15 and 17-inch Y730s available in September starting at $1,179,99 and $1,249 respectively. Following the recent trend, the new systems have a subdued design so they can seamlessly transition between work and play.
Each of the new Legions has a more toned-down look that utilizes a black or gray chassis. However, the Y730 is clearly the more premium of the systems with its all-aluminum chassis. The Y7000 sports an aluminum lid with a magnesium-alloy undercarriage while the Y530 has an all-plastic frame.
Still, the Y530 and Y730 are very similar with both notebooks featuring a hinge-forward design that sits in front of the rear vent. But the most striking thing about either laptop is the redesigned Legion logo adorning the left side of the lid. The Y7000 has a more angular look that looks more like a gaming laptop, but not in an over-the-top way.
Thanks to the larger vents, each of the laptops have a fair amount of ports along the back including a USB 2.0 port, Ethernet, HDMI, USB Type-C, a mini DisplayPort, a secure lock slot and Lenovo's proprietary power port. Along the sides, you'll find a Thunderbolt 3 port, headset jack and a couple of USB 3.0 ports.
Thick bezels are such a thing of the past. Each of Lenovo's new systems feature top and side bezels that are 0.26-inches thin, allowing for viewers to enjoy more of the laptop's display. Unfortunately, those barely-there bezels mean that the webcam is located in the chunky bottom bezel, which is less than ideal for gamers looking to livestream their latest exploits.
Each of the laptops starts with a 1920 x 1080 panel. However, depending on the model, you can get a display with either a 60-Hertz refresh rate or 144Hz. Those extra hertz make for a smoother rendered images. As far as nits, Lenovo claims the Y7000 and Y730 gets about 300 nits of brightness while the Y530 starts at 250 nits.
In an effort to keep things low-key for work or class, both the Legion Y7000 and Y530 lack a keyboard with customizable lighting. Instead, both keyboards are black with bright, white backlighting. If you want to add a little color to the situation, you'll have to invest in the Y730, which has a Corsair iCue RGB backlit keyboard. The keys felt pretty springy during my demo, but I'm eager to learn whether they fall within our acceptable range for key travel (1.5 millimeters) and actuation (60 grams).
Targeting entry and mid-tier gamers, all of the new Legions start with an 8th Gen Intel Core i5-8300U processor and max out at a Core i7-8750H CPU. Memory can go up to 32GB of RAM with a maximum 512GB NVMe PCIe SSD and a 2TB hard drive. With either the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 GPU or 1050 Ti, you won't have the ability to use a VR headset or play games at the highest settings. Still, it's not out of the realm of possibility to get good frame rates on a regular game at medium settings.
Lenovo's new approach to gaming focuses on entry and mid-tier consumers looking to play games without destroying their budget. The new Legion series laptops rise to the challenge and surpass it with laptops that can deliver good frame rates at medium settings. And thanks to the new design, the Legions look good in a classroom, office or in gaming battlestation.
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Sherri L. Smith has been cranking out product reviews for Laptopmag.com since 2011. In that time, she's reviewed more than her share of laptops, tablets, smartphones and everything in between. The resident gamer and audio junkie, Sherri was previously a managing editor for Black Web 2.0 and contributed to BET.Com and Popgadget.